• 22/08/2023
  • Press Release

Energising Apprenticeships: ALVANCE welcomes new talent to their low carbon Aluminium smelter

This summer ALVANCE British Aluminium are delighted to welcome the next generation of apprentices and graduates to the business. For over ninety years, Lochaber Smelter and JAHAMA Highland Estates have committed to training a skilled workforce. Many young people may wonder what a company that has been around for decades can offer someone just starting out in their career, but how about the skills to produce aluminium – a key metal to the energy transition.

ALVANCE British Aluminium and JAHAMA Highland estates continues to drive to net zero within the aluminium industry and changing the dynamics around aluminium production, already holding the accolade as one of the greenest aluminium manufacturing sites in the world by utilising the renewable energy from its hydro scheme. It’s a future-facing business which acknowledges that things must change, and indeed, are changing – and that’s why they need young talented local people to help pave the future and be change makers.

In partnership with UHI Inverness and Glasgow Caledonian University, the apprenticeship route within the businesses continues to go from strength to strength, as for the first time in addition to the modern apprenticeship route with UHI Inverness, the business links with Glasgow Caledonian University to offer fully funded degree-level training, known as a Graduate Apprenticeship. These exciting opportunities offer a high level of academic and industry accreditations, combined with experience in a dynamic workplace as they master their skills over the next four years and hopefully beyond. We have also employed another two engineering graduates from the University of Strathclyde, who have recently completed their Masters degrees; one started on work experience, and one initiated their interest after attending a recruitment evening at the smelter.

These new faces have joined at an incredibly exciting time for the business as it embarks on a journey of growth, as plans progress to introduce a 100kt state-of-the-art billet and recycling facility adjacent to the smelter using green energy, sourced from the existing hydro-electric plant on site. The landholdings associated with the hydro scheme also offer a fantastic opportunity to move beyond carbon footprints and develop wider bio-diversity projects with a holistic commitment to sustainability.

Tom Uppington, Managing Director, ALVANCE British Aluminium, commented: “We are thrilled to have these enthusiastic new-starts strengthening our team. We believe in nurturing young talent and helping them shape a future in the industry, where they will be trained, educated and mentored to further their potential through experiences across our diverse business. As demonstrated throughout the company, there is no wrong path to getting to where you want to be. For example, I have leaders within my own team who started on work experience and apprenticeships. They now join me in developing future strategy for our business. As part of our talent and succession planning – we look forward to other staff progressing their way up through the company, and we are fortunate to be able to offer a broad range of opportunities and skillsets with excellent remuneration. In the last year we have spent nearly £200,000 on training to help our team of 200+ staff excel in what they do, the learning never stops whether you are an apprentice or have worked here for 40 years”.

These talented youngsters have been selected after an extensive assessment process to begin advancing their career at the UK’s only primary aluminium smelter and multifaceted estate  and will be undertaking a variety of roles across the business as part of their learning and development.

Pictured L-R: Cameron Milne (Graduate Apprentice who has moved to Lochaber from the Central Belt to start his career), Ben Campbell & Connor Anderson (Graduate Engineers from the University of Strathclyde and former pupils of Lochaber High School), Connor MacRae, Finlay Donald, Murdo Shaw & Raife Uppington (Modern Electrical & Mechanical Apprentices and former Lochaber High School pupils)


For further information about Alvance British Aluminium, please contact Colleen MacLean, Executive Assistant & Communications Lead on Colleen.MacLean@alvancegroup.com

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